Dinner,  Recipes,  Seafood

Parmesan Scallops

Friday night dinner for Jeff and I, and we fell in love with this meal. I retain vivid food impressions and I can almost taste . The first time I had truly great seared scallops was at Petit Louis Bistro here in Baltimore. They arrived at the table perfectly seared on a bed of sauteed spinach, and that one meal started my scallop obsession. Jeff and I always spilt our entrees and he knows that if scallops are on the menu, that’s what I’m ordering. Always. This is a special, restaurant quality meal to make at home, maybe with one other couple or just for your family. I love making a dinner like this…with music playing and a martini in hand, it’s just so much fun. Enjoy!

Literally one of the best meals I have ever made, it's that good.
Literally one of the best meals I have ever made, it’s that good.
Somehow the leftovers were just as good...and this succotash is delicious!
Somehow the leftovers were just as yummy…and this succotash is delicious!



Parmesan Scallops
Author: Kate Wagner
Serves: 4
The secret to great seared scallops is you have to pat them dry first. Even though you are going to dip these in olive oil, do not skip this step, it makes a big difference and helps you obtain that perfect sear. This is a just right amount of food for 4, but I make this many scallops just for us, and then we had the leftovers the next day while sitting at the pool. Happy cooking!
  • 1 cup Panko or fresh breadcrumbs, divided (see note)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated, divided
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder, divided
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb Sea scallops
  1. On two plates divide in half the breadcrumbs, cheese, Kosher salt and garlic powder. Mix throughly. (see note)
  2. Pour olive oil into a small bowl. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and add to the olive oil, 3-4 at a time. Carefully press breading into both side of the scallop. Once a scallop is breaded, place on a large plate. Repeat, until all scallops are breaded. You might have some extra breading mixture, discard.
  3. Cover the plate holding the raw, breaded scallops with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours to set the breadcrumbs (do not skip this step it really makes a difference).
  4. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once butter is melted and the oil is hot, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 3 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side and be opaque in the center.
  5. Remove to a plate and serve warm.
[b]Breadcrumbs[/b] – I know we all don’t have time to make fresh breadcrumbs, so if not PLEASE use Panko breadcrumbs, they do not cost any more than regular breadcrumbs and they are soooo much better. If you do want to make your own, it is so easy – just pulse leftover bread in your food processor and put the breadcrumbs in a Ziploc bag. They freeze great and you can just use them up bit by bit.[br][b]Why divide your breading mixture in half? [/b]- Through many years of breading experience I have noticed that the breadcrumbs get lumpy the further you get into the breading process. The protein and the moisture – in this case olive oil cause the mixture to clump over time. My solution is to divide the breading in half – it makes a huge difference and gives you a much better end result – perfectly breaded ready to cook food.


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